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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

In your dreams

Every now and then, I get a press release that is really worth sharing with the outside world. And this one really takes the biscuit.

Its from a company called MTomic, who have patented.... wait for it.... a marketplace for content and digital collectibles where users can buy, sell, trade, swap and resell digital items at 'buy it now' prices or auction.

And how does digital content become "collectable" ? Well, MTomic have evidently developed a system that "wears" the relevant content.

Why bother ? Listen to this gem from the company's CEO.

"If your ringtone is this week's No.1 hit it's old news by next Monday - unless it has a unique feature or is a key item in a Collectible Series. Then it's cool and sought after. It lives on as a Digital Collectible that can be traded or treasured!"

Nurse, the screens !!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dazed. And Confused ?

The dear old Grauniad is finally on the case with digital magazines.

In this week's "Organ Grinder" piece, Jemima Kiss admits "Actually though, I confess I'm warming a little to the concept of digital editions, at least for fashion mags."

God loves a sinner...

Find the piece here.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Electronic Ink

Design News has an interesting piece on electronic ink - and how it could possibly save newspapers.

Have a look here

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cosmetic Surgery Answers issue 2 free to download

Excite Publishing has today released issue 2 of Cosmetic Surgery Answers, the first magazine in the UK to deliver independent and trusted advice on cosmetic enhancement – absolutely free.

Available from, the magazine offers a range of features, advice and expert opinion. This issue contains ; a definitive guide to fillers (including Botox and Restylane), all you need to know about liposuction, rhinoplasty and nasal surgery, surgery in Prague, and the latest information on trends and pricing.

The content of the magazine has been written by a number of leading experts in cosmetic treatment as well as a team of respected newspaper and magazine journalists. The interactive abilities of the magazine means that readers can quickly navigate to the section of their choice and in future issues will be able to view streaming video and audio clips.

John Weir, Cosmetic Surgery Answer’s publisher, says “The fantastic response to our first issue has seen over 15,000 readers download the magazine. This demonstrates not only the latent demand for an independent, authorative publication on cosmetic surgery, but also the potential of digital magazines.”

Cosmetic Surgery Answers is available to download from the website,

Monday, November 06, 2006

VIV is Live !!

A new women's magazine has launched in the US. Whilst this is not at all unusaual - at least 30 were launched in 2005 - this one is different in the sense that it is digital ONLY.

Hurrah. At long last someone has had the balls to put out a digital only magazine in the women's sector and it looks absolutely great. It contains rich media files, including flash demos, provided by Zinio, but perhaps the best thing is the little "Viv" button on every page, which allows you to set up the pages as interactive.

Great vision, and I hope it does well.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hot Prospect

Current affairs magazine Prospect has unveiled a digital edition through Exact Editions.

A trial issue of the current affairs magazine is available to read on, and those who subscribe will be able to read back copies from January 2005 onwards.It will be available on the same day the magazine is published in print and is an exact replica of the offline version.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dennis Monkey about

Dennis has confirmed its next venture in the lads' mags arena will be Monkey, a free weekly e-mag aimed at 16 – 30 year men.

The publisher has had an online holding site, promising "sex, fun, sport, gear and cars" since August but had declined to speculate on the exact nature of the product.

Dennis has now revealed that Monkey will be delivered in a weekly email to on-line subscribers from November 1 and its format, will according to its makers, "bridges the gap between familiar print products, online sites and newsletters, with the advantages of all three".

Monkey will have a conventional magazine layout, with approximately 50 turning pages and the traditional cover girl front page but also video clips of girls, jokes and film trailers in its digital format, produced in conjunction with e-edition publishers, Applecart. It can be viewed online or saved as a PDF.

Monkey's launch has been trailed via Maxim's website, James Carter, Director of Dennis NPD said: "Monkey will be a cheeky, sexy mix of girls, sport, cars and humour with around 50 pages of content making it ideal for consumption at home or in the workplace.

"We'll have the best viral videos, the latest music videos and movie trailers, games which you can actually play, sexy girl shoots – all the things which you get flat and static in traditional magazine brought to life on a platform men are using more and more as their primary source of entertainment and information."

Monday, October 02, 2006

Clarkson wants emagazines !!

Great piece in the Sunday Times today. Petrolhead and friend of environmentalists everywhere, Jeremy Clarkson, has backed reading magazines in digital format.

Bemoaning the fall in magazine sales on the newsstand, he said "Surely its possible to download a copy of Country Life via my wireless internet connection"

Soon, Jeremy, soon.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Students of Digital

The MPA - thats the Magazine Publishers of America for the uninitiated - have launched a pilot programme to deliver digital magazines to students. The publishers involved, including Business Week and Hearst, hope to get around 4 to 5,000 subscribers via this test.

Will the PPA here follow suit ?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Top of the (digital) Pops

A warm welcome to digital publishing for BBC Magazines, who announced today that their teen magazine, Top Of The Pops, is going digital next month.

The magazine, like its eponymous TV show, had been consigned to the dustbin in print, so this marks a seismic change for the corporation.

Details of the new offering are sketchy, except to say that subscriptions will be pegged at £9.99 a year - substantially cheaper than the £2.10 that readers were previously expected to pay.

The Long Tail

Folio Magazine has a really interesting piece on "the long tail" - Chris Anderson's theory on economic demand.

It should be required reading for ANY senior magazine executive.

Find it here

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

Over the moon

A nice addition to the growing portfolio of digital magazines is Mercury Moon Music, which you can find here.

Its a bit folksy, but encouragingly, they are proposing to do it regularly, and even charge for it.

Best of luck guys !

Monday, July 31, 2006

Grauniad leads the way

I never thought I'd hear myself say it, but well done The Guardian !! they've announced today that readers will be able to download a small 12 page version of the newspaper called G24, which they can then print out and read.

Targetted at commuters,its a big step forward in personalising content for users.

Provided they sub it of course.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Wiped clean

I was amused to see that America's favourite housewife and ex felon, the blessed Martha, has adopted downloadable PDF's on her website

Ironically, amongst the many useful household tips ("removing steak kives from your child" etc) there is a one page guide to expunging those nasty stains.

Personal as well perhaps ?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Undercover Agents

In a bizarre move, reminiscent of the newsstand, Zinio have created a separate business unit called (wait for it) Undercover Mags. Effectively, this is a "top shelf" site which is only open to 18 year olds and contains um.. "adult material".

Not unreasonable you might think, but get this - Penthouse is being flogged through the new site, but Playboy remains on Zinio.

Eh ? Is Playboy more consumer friendly or is it a contract issue.

I think we should be told.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Times (they are a changin')

Times Online is this week soft-launching its first e-magazine, called Select, using repurposed content from the paper's weekend magazine and the Sunday Times.
Designed by Tomaso Capuano, the man behind the FT's luxury monthly colour magazine How to Spend It, the "e-zine" allows viewers to "turn" pages and interact with articles via the paper's website.

Select will include travel pieces and interviews with the likes of Frank Lampard and Gordon Ramsay. Times Online has signed up Jaguar as its sponsor and partner.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Digital readers "highly engaging" shocker !

Texterity, which offers digital magazines, has released the results of a BPA Worldwide-certified survey showing that 91% of readers take action after reading an ad in a digital edition. The survey was sent to 31,596 digital magazine readers of 45 different publications, both b-to-b and consumer. More than 20% of recipients completed the survey. According to the results, 83% of digital readers looked at an advertiser’s Web site; 41% forwarded information about an advertiser to a friend or colleague; 37% contacted an advertiser for more information; and 32% recommended a product or service. Perhaps most important, 24% of recipients said they purchased a product based on the ad in a digital edition.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

FreE Books

Celebrate the 35th anniversary of free eBooks and the Project Gutenberg. For its birthday month of July, Gutenberg plans to offer free, permanent download access to over 1/3 million books.

So, save yourself about £10 a pop and get literate !!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Google goes Olive ?

From John Battelle's excellent Searchblog...

Despite rumors the past few weeks that Google was going to buy Olive for $75 million, after looking the software company up and down in a week of intensive interviews Google then walked away. Olive software converts various data files (like PDFs, microfilm) into xml, accessible to search.

Is it a coincidence that a large portion of Olive's employes are based in Israel and Google is opening new offices in Israel? Silicon Beat muses: Is Google turning into a Microsoft? Checking out the goods, and then going back and building it themselves? Or hiring away the better employees? Here's what one person said: "Google learned a LOT about Olive... everything."

Monday, April 24, 2006

Catalogue the future

A good report on eMarketer here, which demonstrates the rapid pace of catalogues moving online.

Last year in the US, emarketer estimates that online - only catalogues more than doubled from 2004.

The reason ?

Well print costs would be one, but the response from online catalogues is now outstripping their print cousins.

Over the past ten years, the three catalog categories showing the strongest growth were Automotive, which grew from 270 to 542 titles; Education, growing from 334 to 513 titles; and Apparel & Accessories, up from 677 to 750 catalogs.

De Tijd is turning

Well the Belgian newspaper of the same name is anyway...

This month, De Tijd, started testing versions of electronic paper, a device with low-power digital screens embedded with digital ink — millions of microscopic capsules the width of a human hair made with organic material that display light or dark images in response to electrical charges.

This is only one test of new e-paper devices competing to become the iPod of the newspaper business. Other e-paper trials are being undertaken by the paper Les Echos,and the Guardian here in the UK.

While it is still very nascent technology - at this point, the e-paper cannot display color, offering just 16 shades of gray, and the screens are rigid - there is no doubt we are moving toward the type of accessible device outlined in Minority Report.

Oh well, enough dreaming, back to the 18th century broadband...

Friday, March 31, 2006

E by Gum

There's a interesting piece on e-book adoption from the BBC here.

Well worth a read, but its findings could well have been published 2/3/4/5 years ago, namely..

"But the biggest barrier to e-book world domination surely has to be the screen. An LCD display has much lower resolution than paper."

Monday, March 20, 2006


I came across a great new counter culture magazine today -

Some great pictures.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Keeping Counsel

ALM, has just announced the launch of digital editions of Corporate Counsel and Law Technology News. Access to the sites is free to qualified subscribers. Corporate Counsel, with a print circulation of 43,000, targets general counsel and in-house attorneys. Law Technology News, with a print circulation of 40,000, covers legal technologies, products and services.

Should stop them chasing ambulances anyway.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In Exact

In a move to have erstwhile editor Boris Johnson spinning in his grave (when he eventually reaches it), The Spectator has gone digital.

Using the Exact Editions platform, The Speccie hopes to provide overseas readers with a wb based solution to keep them in touch with whats happening here in Blair's Britain.

Expect a lot of expats in the Algarve will now be apoplectic over their screens instead of their Telegraph.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Join The Q

Its been a while since I looked at Q Mags site, but a recent conversation with Scott Johnson, their VP of sales made me check back with them (as my American cousins would say).

Its small steps, but they seem to have a few specialist titles on board - Armchair General, Tennis Magazine and Top Pair - which I was disappointed was actually a gambling magazine - to name but a few.

It'll be interesting to see how they manage to build on this toe hold against Zinio in coming months.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Penthouse View

Good news for the vertically challenged - those fruitless trips to newsagents, only to find the top shelf is out of reach, will soon be a thing of the past.

Penthouse Magazine is going digital.

Now styling itself as a "men's lifestyle magazine", Penthouse will use the digital platform of Zinio who already handle both Playboy and Mystique.

Who is going to be first to try the ultimate online/offline co - promotion ? A packet of screen wipes is the obvious thing....

Friday, January 13, 2006

Military Intelligence ?

Yes, yes I know - its an oxymoron.

However, Penton have found a use for it in their latest digital magazine,
Military Electronics.

Now I warn you ; this isn't at the cutting edge deisgn wise. But it is packed with useful information.

If you happen to be in a cave in Afghanistan for instance, with er "limited" access to a library, finding out about the capabilities of the latest American listening devices via a downloadable magazine could be very useful.

Just a thought.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Reading with Sony

I'm in Las Vegas for the annual techfest that is CES. Some interesting stuff in amongst all the usual parties, boozing and ahem "distractions"

In particular, I'm very interested in the Sony Reader. For years now, companies like Microsoft have been trying to get people to read content on a proprietary reader - with little success. Sony have tried before, but the difference this time is that the device is small, (about the size of a paperback), avoids backlighting (and hence eyestrain) and critically, they have a number of major publishers on board - specifically Random House and Penguin.

It'll be interesting to see how this does..